I listen to a lot of podcasts. I have a roughly 45 minute commute to and from work, and I make the hour long trip into Boston to see my friends and family a minimum of twice a month. In addition to that car time, when I get up and get ready to leave in the morning, or when I’m washing dishes, or cooking, or pretty much doing anything around the house, I like to have a podcast playing on my phone to keep me occupied. I have my favorites – long series like ‘My Favorite Murder’ or ‘My Brother, My Brother and Me’ that have hundreds of episodes that I listen to over and over again. I also lurk the trending pages on itunes to see what other people are listening to. When something catches my fancy, I feel an uncontrollable compulsion to tell someone about it. Today I’ve got two suggestions and an honorable mention for you from the world we call pod.
The true account of a team of six volunteers who live together for a full year in a restrictively small habitat in a remote Hawaiian mountain. The experiment is meant to mimic the conditions and challenges that human astronauts would encounter on a mission to Mars, which means the team also have to complete certain tasks while participating in the experiment, to imitate how astronauts might react to having to data gather while, say, not feeling the sun on their skin for six months. The volunteers are given prompts and send audio journals to host Lynn Levy while they are inside the experiment. This podcast is great, I devoured it in practically a day – you get all the scientific pursuit of information coupled with the delicious drama and scandal that accompanies human activity under a microscope.
A corpse of a woman was discovered in Isdalen Valley in Bergen, Norway, on November 29th, 1970. In a bizarrely remote spot of a rural area, and badly burnt, there were a lot of questions surrounding the deemed “Isdal Woman” case. This podcast, hosted by BC documentary maker Neil McCarthy and Norwegian investigative journalist Marit Higraff, reopens this cold case almost half a century later. There are 6 or 7 episodes available now, but they are all a good length, and there are more yet to come. This show is a nice mix of a typical hard hitting true crime podcast and something like ‘Somebody Knows Something’, the pace of which I find really hard to stick with. In ‘Death in Ice Valley’, there are enough evidence based breakthroughs to keep you interested, but a slower, low key pace that lets me feel okay about playing it at 8 in the morning.
Honorable Mention: CULTS by Parcast
I’m working my way through this right now – they have a number of episodes, do an excellent job of research (although I find their focus on the psychology of the cult leaders both infuriating and fascinating at the same time) and cover a wide berth of content. The only probably with this show is the smooth, radio-quality the hosts both have. I’m much more partial to a more conversational tone, especially for true crime – the hosts in this show sound like they’re reading off of a paper. The content of ‘Cults’ is A+, but the execution leaves me a little cold.
Don’t forget! I also have a horror movie podcast! Check out ‘Run and Stumble’ on itunes, Stitcher, and http://runandstumble.com